About this Show

The Dylan Ratigan Show

News/Business. The day's most important issues and breaking news stories. New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1235

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 9, Prudential 7, America 6, Paladino 5, New York 5, Mr. Ferguson 3, Goldman Sachs 3, Obama 3, The Va 3, Steve Hildebrand 3, Washington 3, U.s. 3, Martha 3, At&t 2, Pimco 2, Fbi 2, Carl Paladino 2, Hartford 2, Omnaris 2, Grandma 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    The Dylan Ratigan Show    News/Business. The day's most important  
   issues and breaking news stories. New.  

    September 30, 2010
    4:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

4:00pm
sustaining life. too bad it's 220 trillion miles away. show starts right now. happenty days here. stocks closing up their best in september in 70 years. that's right. 70 years. the dow up more than 8% for the month. nearly 11% for the quarter. the fed's decision to restart the printing press is of course helping to launch this rally because if you can print trillions, why wouldn't it go up? last time september was this sweet, americans saw dorothy click her heels for the first time. >> there's no place like home. there's no place like home. there's no place like home. >> you should always be
4:01pm
concerned when my stock market comparisons go back to the 1930s. it would be nice if we had a pair of ruby slipper to take us to an america that functioned on dare i say it, capitalism as opposed to banks gambling with their money, keep the bonuses for themselves. from wall street's canyons from the capitol, there's plenty of reason to celebrate. chris dodd patted himself on the back today for a job well done. >> put an end to too bag big to fail bailouts and to which executives felt free to gamble with people's money. >> i don't understand how you can have four banks control 60% of all assets, not reform fannie and freddie, leave the ratings agencies still working for the banks and say things like that.
4:02pm
i guess they figure americans are so stupid that you can lie boldly to them as long as you have the appearance of a senator. a government that's content to keep printing money. om 10% is done by retail investors. computers trading funny money for everybody else's debtriment. the capital trades back and forth between banksters -- you get the point. chris dodd thinks we're a bunch of morons. i can't explain it. we normally don't like to plug movies on this show, but the one we're about to show you is an exception. i believe this is how -- the bank executives from aig to
4:03pm
goldman sachs brought this nation to the brink, perpetrated this theft and haven't been able to cover it up with government policies that allow them to continue to take our money. >> watching this tsunami coming -- >> they were having massive, private gains and public losses. >> when those dreamed turned out to be nightmares, other people paid for it. >> bear stearns, goldman sachs, lehman brothers, they knew what was happening. >> what do you think about selling securities but your own people think you're trapped. does that bother you? >> is it hypothetical? >> no, this is real. >> charles ferguson, the man behind the film, joins us now in new york. congratulations on the film. were you surprised at how clear the connections were between the banks, the government and amount of money the executives running those banks were able to take and are still taking?
4:04pm
>> i was. i was surprised by a number of things. by how naked wall street had become. when i started making this movie, somebody had told me in late 2008 that i was going to discover as we all know now, that the major investment banks had been creating securities specifically so they could fail so they could profit by betting against them. >> think of how much money you can make by going to a pension fund manager, and cut all the teacher's money, all the judge's money. all the cop's money and tell them hey, we've got this thing. it's going to be awesome. look at what the yield is. you get them to buy it because you know their pensions are under water here in new york state and elsewhere. how much money these two would make. it would go down like our friends at goldman sachs and elsewhere. >> they made tens of billions of dollars. >> do they still have it? >> yes. >> how did they cover it up?
4:05pm
>> we know they did it. one of the most extraordinary things about this, we know there was a lot of unethical behavior and it's unlikely that there wasn't criminal fraud that not a senior wall street executive has been prosecuted. >> did you get an answer? >> i don't have a good answer. clearly, once president obama appointed the team he appointed, we weren't going to get much in the way of reform. why he appointed those people, i don't understand. >> i want to bring another gentleman into this conversation. william black, economics law professor. one of the most outspoken in this country on this issue. why is it that charles ferguson makes this movie, "inside job," reaches the conclusions he offered to us, portrays them in a documentary and not a single individual's been indicted, prosecutes.
4:06pm
have we recovered any of the money that's been stolen, in fact the system has been perpetuated and people are telling us it's been fixed. >> i've been saying this for two years and it doesn't change. we know that unless the regulators serve as the sherpas, they have to do the heavy lifting and they have the serve the guide function. the fbi will be lost and we know the regulators filed zero criminal referrals at two major banking agencies. we got over 1,000 felony convictions of elites in the savings and loan debacle, which was maybe 1/40 the size of this. the people in charge don't look. we know the fbi will form a partnership with a mortgage banker's association. that's the trade association of the perps. they said, hey, we're the victims. none of the bad stuff happened
4:07pm
because the lenders wanted to engage in this fraud and the fbi believed them, if you can believe that. >> i can believe that and in fact, there's an aspect in mr. ferguson's film that portrays the regulatory relationship. can we get a look? >> these guys know they were doing something dangerous? >> i think they did. >> there's nothing we can trust. >> you can't be serious. if you would have looked, you would have found things. >> if you would have looked, you would have found things. what is your insight, mr. ferguson, as to why they were not looking and still refuse to look. >> good question. i don't totally understand. part of it is that many economics professors have ties to the financial system. particularly the investment banks. >> they make a lot of money. they get checks to go on
4:08pm
vacation and buy houses and boats. they're employed by these people. you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you. >> many were in government during this period. many still are. >> do you think, professor black, that the president of the united states is aware of this crime and ignoring it? >> no, i don't think he knows. he has summers and geithner who tell him the opposite, that fraud is a distraction and we need to get on with the world. they're missing the causes. this is the financial equivalent of don't ask don't tell. they didn't ask and look for a good reason because if you were an investment bank or moody's and you looked at the underline, you would have found the underline mortgages had fraud
4:09pm
and you couldn't have sold this toxic waste, so they made sure they never looked. >> if you were to look at our recourse now because we can have this conversation and if we can revalidate our narrative that we have a corrupt financial system designed to take money out, go down these lists, what can we do now? it's the end of september. we accept the set of problems. how do we don't move towards solutions, professor black? >> first, fire a bunch of people. geithner, summers and the heads of every regulatory agency and the s.e.c.k$ get people in who believe in prosecuting and do what was done in the savings and loan. create a top 100 list and go after the most significant cases instead of the most trivial
4:10pm
cases. attorney general holder, who has been unwilling to prosecutor and look at the banking agencies to take a sign tiff k sample and find out the real losses which are being hidden by the federal reserve right now to the tune of trillions of dollars. >> thank you so much. mr. ferguson, congratulations on the film. "inside job." documentary on this specific story. opens a week from friday. where is it opening country wide? >> october 8 in new york and the following week elsewhere in the country. >> congratulations. speaking of jobs and investment in america, bill gross, the founder of the leading bond
4:11pm
investment firm in the world. more than a trillion dollars in assets at pimco joining us to discuss job creation and growing evidence of foreclosure fraud. pimco, one of the biggest owners of mortgage bonds, which are the money that comes to finance our house if there's fraud in there. coming up, are the democrats really just a bunch of quote cowards who need to stop whining and buck up? those fighting words are coming from other democrats including our next guest. steve hildebrand, barack obama's campaign manager in '08. after this. i'm coming to take over the world, of lick racing, starting with you, dsrl. stufy, make the call. ♪ [ dialing ] [ beeping ] [ beeping ] [ beeping ]
4:12pm
[ eli ] it's go time. ♪ ♪ [ man ] i thought our family business would always be boots. until one day, my daughter showed me a designer handbag. and like that, we had a new side to our business. [ male announcer ] when the martinez family saw an opportunity, the hartford was there. protecting their employees and property, and helping them prepare for the future. nice boots. nice bag. [ male announcer ] see how the hartford helps businesses at achievewhatsahead.com.
4:13pm
4:14pm
d
4:15pm
less than five weeks away from the midterm election, some of the fiercest fights is between democrats. congress adjourned early today without addressing bush tax cuts, which united the republicans and divided the democrats. david axelrod and others trying to put the best face on going into november. >> could you work with speaker boehner? >> well, look, what we -- i think that is and hopefully will remain a theoretical question. what i know is that for the past 20 months, we've seen a republican party that made a decision that they were going to
4:16pm
sit on the side and let is wrestle with the problems they had a lot to do with creating. >> so, president obama says dems should buck up. biden says they should stop whining and our next guest says dems afraid to run on the record are cowards. steve hildebrand, former deputy national campaign manager for obama during the '08 campaign. a pleasure to have you back. the message you would send a democrat to the campaign trail with today. >> be proud of being a democrat. don't run from it. be proud you fight for regular people. you stood up to corporations. you stood up to republicans who fight for big corporations. don't run from the president. don't run from your record on health care reform. you were there. you fought for the people and you should be proud of that. >> how do you fight the optics as the internet and so many different aspects of the sieve
4:17pm
has become information so available. the perception that both parties are controlled by larnl corporations, not just the republican party. >> health care is specifically really, i think, created that perception. sorry to interrupt you. by virtue of the perceived optionalty. >> 150 democrats in the house and about 15 democrats in the senate put forth campaign finance reform legislation. that's a lot. a lot of these -- >> believe that. >> i think the onces on board agree. the leadership didn't push it. the president didn't push it. they should have passed it. democrats should have been on record as being the party of reform in a significant way just as they were two years ago for change. >> doesn't that seem like low-hanging fruit? you look at the data sets, there are too many in washington. >> democrats and republicans, who are tied too closely to big
4:18pm
political contributions. whether they come from corp. rags or use nionunions, it does matter. they can't divorce themselves from the big money. probably the single biggest problem in politics. >> let's accept that as a prop that plagues leadership in the democrat and republican party. in the republican party, they're the recent arrival. takes it out more on the democrats because of they are more power to lose. if you look at the polling, there's nobody in america that want the republicans to take over. they just don't have another option. how do the democrats convert this and not get swept out because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time? >> one thing that isn't different in 2010, it's been the same. people want genuine leadership.
4:19pm
courageous politicians. people who will divorce themselves from big money and corporations. the voters want people who will lead and right now, i think we have people in both parties who are failing to lead. they're failing to do what is right versus politically expedient. >> the democrats -- >> and they should be. they had a chance of a lifetime to do the most important things that our party stands for. they passed health care. they could have done better. >> they expanded coverage. you cannot diminish that fact. >> the fact that our leadership and the democratic party adjourned congress without repealing the bush tax cuts is a failu failure leadership. this is wrong and we didn't deliver on it. don't ask, don't tell. we didn't repeal it. >> you were here to explain the campaign pitch for the
4:20pm
democrats, not to do what i do. >> here's the campaign pitch. >> you sound like me now. >> go back for another week and do the people's business. lead. get re-elected. don't lead, don't deserve re-election. it's that easy. i don't think they lead. >> rahm emanuel. meaningful. peter rouse, any insight, i know rahm, but not really and i don't have any idea who this other character is. >> i've known pete rouse for 25 years. i think the absolute world of him. i don't know if he's going to be the chief of staff. that's speculation right now. he's an incredible leader. he is very well thought of and respected. he is grounded. he is somebody that yes, he's been in washington for a long time, but he's also somebody who holds a passion and perspective to help people. i really think a lot of pete and
4:21pm
he would be a tremendous leader with the president. >> steve hildebrand, former national campaign manager for the obama campaign and a man with candid words for his own party. up next, a little bit of a freak out. p paladino. can our politicians channel their anger in a way that affects positive change? i've been attempting to do it on this show. it feels very nice. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? ♪ introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid, specially formulated to fight morning pain and fatigue. ♪ so get up and get goin'!
4:22pm
with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever. check this out. boo-yah! shazam! h2...o! hydrolicious! magic bananas! it's the first one click faucet filter that removes 99% of lead and microbial cysts. adios contaminos! ♪ ♪
4:23pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t and blackberry have teamed up to keep your business moving. introducing the blackberry torch. at&t. rethink possible.
4:24pm
dr. scholl's back pain relief orthotics with shockguard technology give you immediate relief that lasts all day long. dr. scholl's. visit our facebook page to save $3. the day's other headlines include dandies. a flashy freakout from carl paladino and tragedy as a college student commits suicide, raising issues not only of privacy, but of our political
4:25pm
system's role in failing to deal with the civil rights issue that is homosexuality. we start in new york where carl paladino is making some damn good headlines. paladino accuses andrew cuomo of carrying on an affair. while married to his former wife, cuomo has not commented. so last night, a reporter confronted paladino. paladino responded like this. >> have any evidence for the charge you make? >> at the appropriate time, you'll get it. and you're -- >> what's the evidence? >> take you out, buddy -- >> how you doing to do that? >> watch. >> let's mix it up. i love that guy.
4:26pm
i just love him. jane and martha, conservative talk radio host. martha, i don't even know where to begin other than to observe the absurdity. when you see political candidates ending up in this state, what does it tell you about the overall quality of the candidates we're selecting, the primary system we're work, with, the entire mechanism for breeding politicians, if you will? >> what led to that was the fact the "new york post" has been -- stalking his daughter. you shouldn't lose your cool like that. but i can understand it. the part you couldn't hear well, if you don't leave my daughter alone, i'm going to take you
4:27pm
out. i think that's the real challenge there. >> if you were to look at this through the lens of candidate quality, period. san francisco chronical saying no boxer, no -- my view, it continues to deteriorate not improve. at what point do we have such poor candidates where it's -- that we have to have primary reform. >> i don't know that it's so much primary reform. we've got a system that defaults to one party or the other and those people man their districts. you've got a liberal district. you wind up with people who represent extreme views being elected. in this case, i don't think anybody knew that paladino necessarily had the impulse
4:28pm
control of a 6-year-old, but you look at how he responds in this situation, he can't control his temper, his feeling. anybody would be upset by, if their child was being stalked, but this is how he deals with his temper in this situation and it's not what we want to see from someone in leadership. >> martha, please, rebut me. >> one thing democrats and republicans see is they don't want anybody else on the ballot. but i think it is refreshing. i am so sick and tired of candidates parsing words and saying things to please everyone. he said it was word. he didn't hit the guy. didn't take the guy down. it was words. i think he did the right thing in that case. >> let's pick another subject, shall we?
4:29pm
r rutgers university in mourning today after the suicide of a college freshman. he killed himself after images of him having a sexual encounter were broadcast on the internet -- tyler jumped to his death from the george washington bridge here in new york last week. two classmates have been charged with invading his privacy. there's no confirmation of his sexuality one way or the other, not that it's any of our business. but if the story line proves true, it is a part of the disturbing trend of young people killing themselves after being tormented about their sexuality. when it comes to the politics of gay life in america, are we either hypocritical or using gay
4:30pm
rights as a way to manipulate the electorate while creating the necessary environment for those reaching sexual maturity to have the appropriate resources. when you look at politics in this country, jane, do you view the inability to reconcile the civil rights aspect of again, one group of people being treated differently because of any variable as a direct reflection of our own societies and ability to do that on an individual level? >> the president campaigned on ending don't ask don't tell. the other night, joe biden was on the rachel maddow show. he said the reason the president had not suspended don't ask don't tell discharged pending is because they wanted to build consensus. that didn't happen. the senate did not repeal don't
4:31pm
ask don't tell, so there's no excuse for the president to not now suspend discharges. what we're telling youths like this young man is that it is not okay to be gay. that they cannot serve in the military. that just the fact that they are gay alone is enough reason to discharge them and that they need to hide it and it needs to be in secret and that's what leads to the feeling of less than. that whatever all the problems this young man had, this made it much, much worse. so it starts at the top and there's no reason it should not begin today. >> martha? >> i think one of the challenges are in don't ask don't tell, they should have an across the board code of conduct. it shouldn't be a question of being straight or gay. i thought it was awkward from the beginning. but in this particular case, this may not just be about whether there was homosexuality involved. there have been bullying by social networks cases that have
4:32pm
happened where a young girl killed herself. two instances where a young girl killed their self. the same kind of feelings were at play here. it's about where boundaries are. >> go ahead, jane. >> ltbtus are three times as risk. so clearly, there's something going on beyond just social networking or something. it's the message we're sending down. >> before there was social networking, there was still picking on people in the hallway. >> there's still a double standard as far as young girls behavior in schools. there is still a double standard
4:33pm
and we have this other stuff to deal with, too. while i accept jane's point, believe me, i've been in public schools. my kids went to public schools. there are still the issues where girls are treated differently than when we were in school and boys are, too. we've got a whole big issue and it starts at home, too, with parents talking openly about these issues with their children. >> jane, when you look at everything from all the gay marriage, balloting issues going back to 2004 and the overall treatment of gay rights at a national political level, how much of it do you feel was done for purposes of real civil rights and for purposes of political manipulation and creating wedges? >> i think a lot of it was for political manipulate lag, but it's people's lives at stake
4:34pm
here. their ability to function in society. the president should do what he can to stop that. >> great to see you. thank you. still ahead, new developments in the outrageous story about insurers taking advantage of the families of fallen soldiers. if you think i'm making these stories up, i'm telling you. how this particular scheme from our life insurers, which are of course ordained by our federal government, have managed to harvest a few billion dollars from the families of our fallen. also, people of the earth. listen up. we may have some competition a few trillion miles away. scientists found the first planet outside our solar system capable of supporting life. maybe we'll find a worm hole or something, you know? before we do that, the midlife crisis is hitting us
4:35pm
earlier than ever. oh, good news. we're back right after this. ♪ i used to see the puddles, but now i see the splash. ♪ i wanted love, i needed love ♪ ♪ most of all, most of all... ♪ save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance?really was abe lincoln honest? mary: does this dress make my backside look big? abe: perhaps... save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance?really host: is having a snowball fight with pitching great randy johnson a bad idea?
4:36pm
man: yeah, i'm thinking maybe this was a bad idea. on your next business trip, pack your marriott rewards visa card. get triple points every time you use your card at marriott. apply now and earn 22,500 bonus points when you use your card and enjoy a free night stay. so, before you know it, work time becomes well-deserved downtime. apply now at marriott.com/freenightstay. you've got staying power.
4:37pm
4:38pm
you may have heard people say that 30 is the new 20, but according to a new study, it also may be the new midlife crisis. people between 35 and 44 are signing up for counciling at record rates and have a lot of complaints. one in five say they feel lonely. traditionally, it is resevered for people in their late 40s and 50s, so instead of growing a ponytail and buying a por sh. 30 something's might have to settle for a mazda. coming up, grief and greed. new fallout about one life
4:39pm
insurance company that allegedly made millions of the deaths of u.s. soldiers. ♪ for he's a jolly good fellow ♪ the meeting's tomorrow in dallas ♪ ♪ we need to finish those projections ♪ ♪ then output the final presentations ♪ ♪ sally, i'm gonna need 40 copies, obviously collated ♪ what's going on? when we're crunched for time, brad combines office celebrations with official business. it's about efficiency. [ courier ] we can help. when you ship with fedex, you can work right up until the last minute. it gives you more time to get stuff done. that's a great idea. ♪ i need to speak with you privately ♪ ♪ i found your resume on the printer ♪ everyone! ♪ i found your resume on the printer ♪ [ male announcer ] we understand.® you need a partner who gives you more time. fedex. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ] who gives you more time. [ rattling ] [ gasps ] [ rattling ] [ laughing ] [ announcer ] close enough just isn't good enough. - if your car is in an accident, - [ laughing continues ] make sure it's repaired with the right replacement parts.
4:40pm
take the scary out of life with travelers. call or click now for an agent or quote. maybe you want school kids to have more exposure to the arts. maybe you want to provide meals for the needy. or maybe you want to help when the unexpected happens. whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer, or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference. i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ]
4:41pm
i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for $11 at omnaris.com. even if you think your mattress is just fine... ask me what it's like to get your best night's sleep every night. why not talk to someone who's sleeping on the most highly recommended bed in america... it's not a sealy... or a simmons... or a serta... ask me about my tempur-pedic. ask me how fast i fall asleep. ask me about staying asleep. these are actual tempur-pedic owners!
4:42pm
ask someone you know---check out twitter... try your friends on facebook. you'll hear it all...un-edited. ask me how it feels after 10 years. ask me if it's a good value. just ask me. there are 4 million tempur-pedic owners! and they're more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ask me why i feel better every morning. ask me why someone who's never had an ache or a pain is in love with this bed. start asking real owners. ask me how we took the first step... take the first step right now! call or click today for your free information kit with dvd. call the number on your screen or visit tempurpedic.com. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. we're back with a outrageous story. fresh details on how the government cut a deal with pru
4:43pm
den shl insurance -- the way they ran the operation went like this. in 1965, congress passed a law that required a lump sum payments to fallen soldiers' survival. they signed a contract with the da to provide those lump sum payments. but then in 1999, pruden tr nrn and the va changed the rules. two top xwis struck a verbal agreement in which they would send out checkbooks to the families instead of payments. brilliant because it allowed the insurance company to keep the books which allowed them to earn interest on the money owed to
4:44pm
the families of the fallen. what they call making easy money. in '07, the va and insurance company signed a contract to provide these benefits. that contract still required to pay out lump sum payments, but they had a handshake deal in which the payment would be a worthless checkbook that would allow them to keep the money for their own profitability. not until 2009 did the va actually change the contract signing an amouendment allowing- and give the families a checkbook where the checks work sometimes and sometimes they don't. at that point, the checkbooks had been given for the past ten years and there has been a lot of war in this country. good time to be running a scam, no.
4:45pm
$7 billion worth. of course at stake here, millions of dollars worth of interest earned off those death benefit accounts that in my view ought to go to those for whom the death benefit was paid. the families of the fallen. they've seemed to figure out a woi to keep that money for themselves. joining us now, the man who first broke the story. davi david evans. his latest article hit the web last night. david, describe to us your sense of the va and government's participation in enabling or encouraging this system?
4:46pm
>> it is possibly for one who gets these checks to write one out and get the full amount. they do earn interest. they're earning half the interest while it earns 4% for the insurance company. we found that back in 1999 after some years of simply handling administrative tasks for the service members group life insurance program, prudential went to the va, did a handshake deal and the va gave them permission to start keeping the money and simply sending out checkbooks which allowed them to make interest. they sent out 60,000 and there's more than $660 million sitting at prudential.
4:47pm
the significant thing we reported in the news story is taxpayer involvement. since 2003, we've been at war and more than 2,000 service members have been killed and instead of that money coming out of prudential, all that money has come from taxpayers and where as the contract had said and the bill that this happens under, the law this happens under, says that lump sum payments are supposed to go to the survivors. instead, this money has been going into the general corporate account of prudential, so they've received 1.7 billion that has come from the government to go for fallen soldiers and instead of sending that out in checks, they've sent out the checkbooks and they've been able to earn interest.
4:48pm
they're profiting from the deaths of those soldiers. >> i just want to make sure i understand. this is be very easily misunderstood. you're saying that when a soldier dies and the death benefit is paid, $400,000, that that money is u.s. tax money and not prudential's money? isn't the whole point of having an insurance company and the insurance company retains and manages the money so that when they are to draw upon whether a life insurance policy or car accident, why is the u.s. taxpayer paying the death benefit? >> that point was raised at a hearing in september of 1965. the american legions testified before congress and asked, wait a minute, if the department of veteran's affairs is determining the premium, the army, the navy, the air force, they're collecting the premiums, what is
4:49pm
left for a private insurance company to do but make profit? that was the testimony in 1965. as i said, until 1999, there wasn't much profit in there, but since that point, last year, prudential was only paid $4 million for handling administrator tasks. but for getting access to this money that remains in their account which is now more than $600 million, they're able to earn money on that spread that a number of folks believe, such as the american legion announced today, that money should be going to the survivors. it shouldn't be a windfall. >> just because they've got a friend at the va willing to pay out their accounts. i want to talk a little about some of the latest developments since you first so effectively and powerfully broke this story a few months ago.
4:50pm
july 28th, the va launched a probe into the story. july 29th, the attorney general launched a major fraud investigation. september 14th, not that long ago, no more checkbooks if survivors request lump sums. yesterday, house passes a bill requiring greater disclosure to the families. one of the other issues you pointed out was the fact that it was hard for the family to understand this was not fdic insured, and not aware necessarily their money was being retained for a much higher interest rate than the one they were getting paid. what do you think needs to happen next to put an end to this? >> well, among the things we're watching for, on the floor of the house yesterday, congressman steve boyer, he actually objected to that bill, which
4:51pm
sounds like transparency. that's a good thing, to require more to the survivors. but he said, time out. he wanted to know why it was there was transparency giving to what he sees as a potentially illegal practice. a lump sum does not mean a checkbook and to simply allow prudential to send out checkb k checkbooks is a big problem. we've got the attorney general investigating. two in-state commissioners investigating. we're hoping to see some hearings in congress. >> if what you're reporting, that there was a handshake deal to allow the money to stay in prudentials' account, again, superficially and i'm only knowing what you're reporting, certainly sounds like great basis for further investigation if nothing else. >> there's a lot of invest g
4:52pm
ininvestigation happening. >> congratulations once again for doing such a great job as a journalist in this country to eliminate the practice of exploitation and extortion, the power full of course taking advantage of those most bereaved and with the least power. those who run our life insurance companies, taking advantage of the families whose children were killed in war. coming up on "hardball," 2010, the year of angry politics from voters and candidates, but first, space. astronomers discover a new earth and it's a mere 120 trillion miles away. we will visit this fine planet right after this. ♪ i love my grandma. i love you grandma. grandma just makes me happy.
4:53pm
♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package. grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪ grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you ♪ is to love... some people call us frick and frack. we do finger painting. this is how grandpa and i roll. ♪ and i do [ pins fall ] grandma's my best friend. my best friend ever. my best friend ever. ♪ [ laughing ] [ boy laughs ] ♪ to know, know, know you after this we're gonna get ice cream. can we go get some ice cream? yeah. ♪ and i do ♪ and i do ♪ and i do
4:54pm
4:55pm
4:56pm
real question has always been, are we alone or not in this universe, so we're trying to answer that by finding places where life as we know it can exist. >> well, the quest for discovering life on other planets just took an interesting turn. astronomers may have found the next earth. not too hot. not too cold. appropriately, they started calling it the goldilocks planet because conditions just right to support life. it's what they would call a class m planet.
4:57pm
you're looking at an artist's rendition of the planet. joining us now is deputy director of the space telescope science institute in baltimore. they call it a habitable zone, doctor. what does that mean? >> just as you said, it's the goldilocks zone. if you have a star and planets orbiting, it's too cold, too hot. there's that zone at just the right temperature where liquid water can exist and life as we know it requires water. >> and in this instance, how do they verify that is what they have found? >> so, the planets are rotating the star and they're watching the wobble of the star just as if you had a toy that you're spinning around. ball on a string. your hand would wobble. they've looked at the wobble of the star that gives a
4:58pm
characteristic signature and the most amazing thing is that around the planet is not just a planet, but a whole solar system, one of which is in that right zone, and about the right size, that it might be something kind of like earth. i hesitate because it's not just like earth. we're pretty sure of that. >> one of the ways it's unlike earth is that it does not rotate. one side is as hot as all get out and the other side is cold and dark. >> that's right. if you look at our moon. we see the same side. we only see one side. it's called tidily locked. this planet is probably locked around its star, so one side is probably very hot, the other side, cold. just in the middle is a
4:59pm
temperature that's probably not too dissimilar from earth. >> so, that's where we'll put the condos. >> the beach front property and the mountain property. >> is there any evidence beyond the mathematics you've described and the analysis of actual life? >> not yet. but that's really the fascinating thing is the fact that after 11 years of searching, we found a solar system that has a planet like this means these kinds of solar systems are probably very common. the next step is to have a telescope that can go study one of those planets and see if we see signs of liquid water or life. nasa's building such a telescope, so if we hang on a little longer, we might be able to answer the question. >> when you say common, how many of these, from a speculative standpoint, could exist? >> we're talking about planets relatively close